Jin Ramen: The Cold Weather Cure

Hey guys! Friday is such a great day of the week. Plus my brother and his friend are in town, which is super fun. That means my posts for the next few days will probably just be filled with fatty goodness. I’m not complaining. When they got in, I had Doughnut Plant waiting for them (I’ll share this another day), but then I had to head off to work. They ended up going with me to my stop and walking to a bagel shop that apparently is amazing (I don’t direct people to bad food ever – it is my life skill). Work was crazy. The kids were crazy. Anyways we had plans to meet up for ramen after I got off work. I thought of all the amazing places that are offered in NYC, and ended up choosing one right by my school that I have always wanted to go to.

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Introducing Jin Ramen. The problem with ramen restaurants are that you can’t make reservations, so pretty much it is first come, first served. Otherwise the rest of you are shoved outside to wait in the cold. However, as the crazy foodie that I am, I think it is totally worth it. We were blessed by the ramen gods though because a bunch of people complained and left, so we waited a minimal amount of time (probably like 3-4 minutes) when my brother and his friend go there, so we were seated almost immediately. Success. The restaurant is pretty small too, so that is one reason why it takes so long to get seated. Plus the food is the bomb, so people know what is up.

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If you really know me, you will know that I have a deep love for pork buns. Anything in a steamed bun is particularly delicious to me, and I was happy to find out that steamed pork buns are a staple at ramen shops. THANK YOU. I got an order of steamed pork buns, which you could pick to get either 2 or 3. I’m obviously not a massive pig, so I just chose to get 2. It was Gua Bao buns stuffed with chashu pork (I have realized that this may be the greatest pork to exist, so thank you Jin Ramen), iceberg lettuce, and spicy mayo. I am obsessed. This was definitely one of the best pork buns that I have ever had. I probably will go here after class just so I can enjoy some of these bad boys. It came served along with a nice portion of cabbage, which I really enjoyed. There was a nice dressing on it, which paired well with the pork buns.

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My brother and his friend ended up splitting (besides an order of pork buns too, can’t miss those) a dish that had something to do with dumplings. I forgot to take a picture of the menu because there has been some new additions to it compared to the one online and the old menu. This came with a mustard sauce and another dipping sauce. They ended up going with chicken (you could get chicken or pork), since they were having pork in their ramen. It looked really good. They seemed to love this sauce that looked like a black bean dip. I would definitely try this next time I go. They had a ton of appetizers that looked good, but I’m obviously biased toward my beloved pork buns.

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Oh man. This was a bowl of deliciousness. My brother ended up getting the Green Curry ramen, which is a new menu item. It said it was three pepper spicy on the menu, but I think mine was definitely way spicier than this. It literally tasted like a liquid version of green curry with ramen noodles in it. He ended up adding enoki mushrooms to it, and the dish as a whole was great. There was a wide variety of vegetables in it that you would typically find in a green curry. I am getting this one next time I go because I feel in love with the coconut creamy goodness that this has to offer.

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My brother’s friend ended up going with the Tonkotsu ramen, which is just a pork bone based ramen. She added enoki mushrooms to it to, which are these small skinny things. According to the menu, this ramen cooks for hours upon hours to get the rich flavors out of the pork bone. It was really simple, but so delicious. All of the basic ramens come with noodles, scallions, a hard boiled egg, and charshu pork. You have the option of adding in extra sides, which is pretty cool I think because you get to create your own ramen.

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Now my bowl of ramen. Look at that kind of creepy orange color, but it is just filled with warm spicy broth. Mine definitely came with a kick. I was chugging water, but every moment was worth it. I ended up adding some tofu, bok choy, and enoki mushrooms to it. My original choice was another new menu item, but it has four spicy peppers next to it and I realized I didn’t want to spend the rest of my night experiencing actual death. Therefore I went with the spicy tonkotsu ramen, which is the same pork ramen that my brother’s friend got, but with spicy mayu sauce and rayu (a spicy sesame oil). I loved having all the extra things in it. It made it really hearty. I even had so much leftover that I got to take some home for snacks for later. I think this place is a really good deal because the ramen is only 11-13$ per bowl, and then you can get add ins if you want from .75-1.25$. Overall I am in love with this place and I definitely will be coming back. Ramen is in.

Have an awesome Saturday!

Have you ever had real ramen before?What would you want in your ramen?

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Nutrition Fact Friday: Calcium

Hey ya’ll! Friday is the best day because that means it is Nutrition Fact Friday. Every Friday of the week, I will be providing ya’ll with a mini nutrition education lesson on a nutrient, food, or something nutrition related. This week I have a special guest who goes by the name of Calcium. Calcium is considered to be the most abundant mineral in the body. It is found in some foods, added to others, and it can be in some medicines. This mighty mineral is needed for a variety of things to function in your body. Some things calcium impacts are vasodilation, muscle contraction, and hormone secretion. Calcium, in the average person’s mind, is considered to be a bone mineral. They are right in some ways because 99% of calcium is stored in the bone, but there are so many functions of calcium! One of the most common problems in society is that most people assume calcium is found in milk, so they push milk consumption like crazy. However this is not completely true! Calcium is found in a ton of options, so lets check them out:

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Since calcium is found in so many foods, you can plan your diet around many options in order to get your daily intake amount in. This is especially important to notice if you are vegan or lactose intolerant because you don’t consume milk in those populations, so having many options like different vegetables allows every population to not be calcium deficient. Calcium deficiency, also known as hypocalcemia, can be a huge problem since calcium regulates many things such as blood pressure and it helps construct bones. Side effects that occur when there isn’t enough calcium in the body are osteoporosis, eye damage, and abnormal heartbeats. Therefore it is extremely important to consume calcium regularly in the diet.

The recommended intake for individuals, male or female, from ages 19-50 is 1000 mg. This is a pretty good number to try to reach every day. For individuals that are younger the requirement is usually less than 1000 until children reach the age of development, which is 9-18 years old and they consume around 1300 mg. The same is true for the population as it ages because there is an increased risk of developing osteoporosis. There is no maximum amount of calcium to limit yourself to because no adverse effects have been seen. It is important though to mix up your sources of calcium because when you consume things such as spinach, collard greens, and oranges you are giving your body other vital nutrients and minerals that are needed for the daily intake. One of the key things of living a nutritious and healthy life is following variety!

Now for the fun part of the nutrition fact Friday. The recipe ideas to help you consume more calcium. Each week on Friday, I will round up some of my favorite recipes that utilize a major source of that week’s topic in them. So this week it is all about those delicious calcium recipes!

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What a good way to get a good amount of calcium then by consuming more than one source in one sitting! This amazing recipe from Simply Life uses tofu and broccoli to create a stunning Chinese inspired dish. For one thing, it is sesame tofu, which maybe one of my favorite dishes to order at a Chinese restaurant (specifically Rice Bowl in Austin, currently having a drool sesh right now as I write this post). This recipe is incredibly easy to follow, it contains tons of healthy ingredients, and it is packed full of awesome flavors. This probably contains around 446 mg of calcium in it. That is a pretty great amount. The more broccoli you put in the dish, the more the calcium level will increase. A great idea would be to include some bok choy too. That way you are getting a large amount of fiber with your calcium, so you will feel fuller for a longer period of time.

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Another great recipe to get in your calcium requirements is seen on the Preppy Paleo. This recipe is for Maple Almond Salmon. Once again the recipe is using two sources of calcium, which is amazing. Coating fish in a crust is a good way for people that don’t eat a lot of fish or particularly like the texture of fish to enjoy it. I love almonds and salmon, so I will definitely have to try this one out. This recipe has a little lower average value of calcium, which would be around 250 mg for a serving. However you could definitely increase your amount by adding a side of broccoli to the dinner or a nice plate of collard greens, which pack in a total of 357 mg of calcium (wow, those Southerners sure now how to get that calcium in their diet).

Calcium is really easy to consume throughout the day as long as you are having balanced meals. One of the easiest ways to get a dose in with breakfast is to consume dairy products, such as yogurt, cheese, or milk. However for those who don’t want to go the dairy path, focus on having an orange or a freshly squeezed glass of orange juice. Other options include a vegetable omelet with spinach. Snacks are easy to because you can just grab an orange or a handful of nuts to take along with you.

Keep those bones and teeth strong and the heart pumping! Don’t forget to get your calcium in daily. A healthy reminder is that consuming calcium chews or multivitamins does not help you reach your daily value. When you consume those, they tend to go out of your body immediately through your urine. That means that you need to eat fresh foods daily in order to consistently reach your daily requirements!

What is your favorite source of calcium?
Do you have any good calcium rich recipes?

WIAW: Westsville in NYC

Hey ya’ll! It is that awesome time of the week again, What I Ate Wednesday, hosted by the lovely Jenn. This week I have something special. My best friend and I met up with another friend of ours from Texas who also goes to Teacher’s College at Columbia. What a small world? We were in a Jewish youth group, BBYO, as youth, so it was a nice catch up, since the other girl was a few years older than us. We ended up going to this super cute place over in Chelsea called Westville. Now let me get on to the food.

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This place is overflowing with cuteness. Look at the menu. It made me feel like I was at school because it was handwritten on lined paper. I thought it brought a lot of fun to the restaurant and gave it a warm, welcoming environment. This was just one menu too. They had a regular menu underneath it. There was so many food options that it was really hard to decide. This menu was so cute though that I obviously had to get the market sides.

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Here is my beautiful plate of market sides. I feel like a bunny rabbit when I look at this plate. It is full of vegetables and tofu. It is also a really colorful plate, which is super important in having a healthy and balanced diet. It keeps you wanting to eat the healthy food by having it bright and colorful. You need variety in your diet in order to stick with choosing healthy choices.

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For one of my sides I got the Asian Style Bok Choy. It was just your regular bok choy that had been sauteed in some oil and topped with peanuts and spicy sauce. It was delicious. I love the way sauteed bok choy tastes. It gets so tender, which is a nice alternative to having to really crunch and chew on something. The sauce was really nice too. It wasn’t overly spicy, which I needed since I’ve been eating so much bibimbap with spicy red paste. I have cleared my sinuses way too much this week. I feel like a new person. Anways, Bok Choy. It was simple, but sometimes you need that in your life.

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This was the soy glazed tofu. I actually like how they presented this part of the dish. I was expecting to have a ton of small chopped up pieces of tofu, but then I was surprised when I saw two long pieces of pan-seared tofu on the plate. It had a light glaze of the soy, which was good because you do not want that overly salty taste to tofu. It was really crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside. This was definitely one of the better cooked tofu dishes I have had at a restaurant (obviously nothing can replace my sesame tofu in Austin, but this was really good). This was my protein on the plate to go along with all the fiber that I was consuming. You always need to balance it out.

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This was definitely the star of the plate. Roasted beets with walnuts. I think I was in heaven. I could have eaten an entire plate of this. I forgot how much I loved beets. They are so soft and tender. When you stick them in your mouth, they just melt on your tongue. The walnuts gave a nice crunch to it and added a salty flavor to the sweetness of the beets. I gobbled these up in an instant. You could have gotten them with goat cheese, but I insisted on the walnuts because of the Vitamin E that they contain and they are a healthy source of fat. I will definitely be ordering this market side when I go back to Westville. I could not stop raving about this when I got home and talked to Carrianne. I was like the beets, OMG, so good. Who says that? I know my childhood self would not have. I’m adult Lindsay now who loves all her vegetables (even though when I was little, I actually had a pretty great palate for vegetables).

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Brussel sprouts? Man ya’ll must think I have gone crazy going after all the weird vegetables for dinner. To be completely honest, I was trying to be super healthy anyways because I am currently on prednisone for my arthritis, so I am intense with not consuming any bad things. For those of you that don’t know, prednisone makes you gain weight because it increases your appetite. Luckily every time that I take prednisone, I have never gained weight, but actually lost weight. As long as I stick to my good habits, I know I’m good. Anyways, FOOOOOD. Brussel sprouts. So delicious. What? Lindsay is liking all these vegetables that are usually disgusting. Ummm what? They are so good. Yes, now I’m having conversations with myself because I’m cool like that. These brussel sprouts came with a honey dijon sauce that was to die for. They were perfectly roasted and the sauce soaked into the leaves. It was great. I was so full after my meal because of all the fiber. Definitely a win win! Also all of that food was only 15$. What a steal!

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Isa and our friend Rachel ended up splitting a plate of sides and a salad. They ordered the pesto mash potatoes, which may have been one of the best things I have ever had. Pesto and mash potatoes. What a genius combination. They were so silky and soft. The pesto was mixed perfectly in the mash. They let me have a bite and I was so thankful. They also ended up getting sesame snow peas, polenta, and squash with quinoa. I think they were sad because they didn’t order the french fries (as was I because when I saw a girl across from us with them I was insanely jealous). They enjoyed the mash potatoes and snow peas, but the other two dishes left a little confusion.

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Pardon me for having a super blurry picture. This is the salad that they ended up splitting. It had arugula, pair, shredded mozarella, and a lemon oil sauce. It looked so good. It was also huge. They were like woah, thank god we are splitting this. I definitely would get a salad too next time to split with someone. That was the best way to go about things. Splitting a salad and market sides, that way you got to taste a whole bunch of choices. I can’t wait to go back here another time. Definitely a really great spot to go on a date. It was cute and cozy inside. Our friend, Rachel, said that the drinks were really good too and that the vegetarian burger was to die for. I will obviously be hitting it up for all of the reasons above. It was a nice night.

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I hope ya’ll have a great Wednesday. Mine is pretty eventful. I am getting all my lab testing done in applied physiology lab. That means I have to perform blood pressure, heart rate, skinfold, medical history, physical assessment, and breathing tests on a subject and get graded on it. So far I have gotten a 100 on my two other tests, so I think I am pretty good to go. I’ll leave you with this little gem of a minion. When Isa and I were walking to Westville, we saw this cute little guy in the window of a cake shop. I wanted to go in so bad, but I just wrote down the name, so I could go back when I’m off prednisone and it is a Saturday! Have an awesome day!

What is your favorite vegetable?
Where is your favorite place to go on a date?

Spicy Peanut Tofu with Bok Choy

Hey ya’ll! I have a total case of the Mondays. Actually I’m pretty wide awake since I got a total of 12 hours of sleep (yes I was in recovery from my birthday). I more have a case of the Mondays because it is Columbus day, but I have school. WHAT IS THIS COLUMBIA? I need this day off to recuperate and study for my first graduate school midterm. Oh well, luckily I’m a champion and will survive (even though I have my two most boring classes today). On to the good stuff though. RECIPE! Peanut tofu served with bok choy. Um yes. This was one delicious recipe, so lets get to sharing it!

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Spicy Peanut Tofu with Bok Choy

1/2 package of firm tofu
Bok Choy
Broccoli
1-2 tsp of olive oil
Green onion
3 T of Soy Sauce
2 T of prepared PB2
3 T of Rice Vinegar
1 T of Agave
2 T of Water
1-2 T of Sriracha

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1. Place olive oil in pan, turn on medium high heat, and toss in chopped up tofu.

2. Cook until crispy on most sides of the tofu. Then remove and place on a paper towel placed on a plate.

3. Add the rest of the olive oil, the bok choy, and broccoli. Cook until the bok choy has become wilted and has become crisp.

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4. Whisk together the peanut butter, rice vinegar, water, soy sauce, and agave. Once it is thoroughly mixed, add in the sriracha. If you want it spicier, keep adding sriracha until you have the taste you want.

5. Place the tofu in the pan with the broccoli, turn the heat to low-medium, and add in the sauce. Cook for 1-2 minutes until sauce has thickened and thoroughly covered all of the tofu and vegetables. Then remove and it is ready to serve. Top with chopped up green onion.

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This dish is amazing. Not only is is extremely healthy for you, but it is packed with a ton of flavor. The spicy peanut sauce packs a kick, but has a subtle sweet flavor from the peanut butter. The green onion gives a nice addition to the sauce too. Bok choy and broccoli are definitely the best vegetables to go with this Asian inspired stir-fry. This makes a ton of food too depending on the amount of vegetables you add in. Of course ya’ll know I love vegetables, so I probably had way too much food. I ended up using this as my go to school packed dinner a couple of times because it was easy to pack in plastic ware and could be heated up in the graduate school microwave. Success. Everyone was always staring at me in class because the dish smelled so good. Definitely made a few people drool.

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Tofu is a good source of protein for those of you that don’t want to eat meat or just want an alternative source of protein a few days a week. Bok Choy is a very good vegetable to consume in your diet. It contains a wide variety of antioxidants, which protect against cancer and heart disease. It has a good amount of Vitamin C in it, which helps with immune function (I totally could use some of that right now – cold weather problems). Also it is a good source of folic acid, which is a really important nutrient in regards to pregnancy. You definitely aren’t losing out when you consume bok choy and broccoli since both are from the same family, it is as if you are getting a double dose of these healthy nutrients!

I hope ya’ll are having a great Monday! Enjoy my recipe.

What is your favorite tofu dish?
Do you eat a lot of peanut sauce on things?

Pad Thai Spaghetti Squash

Hey ya’ll! I have survived my first final. It was really easy to be honest, but my make-up exam was kind of hard, which was shocking. It was all short answer, which the test is usually multiple choice, a few short answer, and a case study. Instead it was all short answer and a case study. Hopefully I did well. If not, it isn’t the end of the world since I rocked the final. So I have something super special to share with ya’ll: my recipe for tofu spaghetti squash pad thai. Maybe one of the greatest things I have ever experienced (let me rephrase that: greatest healthy thing).

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Tofu Spaghetti Squash Pad Thai
1 red onion
1 spaghetti squash
1 c of carrots (already in thin stick form)
1 c bean sprouts
1/4-1/2 c of liquid egg whites
1 clove of garlic
crushed peanuts
a few pieces of cilantro

Peanut Sauce
2 tbsp white rice vinegar
2 tbsp soy sauce
1-2 tbsp brown sugar
1 lime
1 clove of garlic
2 tbsp of PB2 prepared with 3-4 tbsp of water

photo(1)1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and slice your spaghetti squash into half. Carve out the middle of the squash that contains all of the seeds and discard into the trash.

2. Place squash on a baking sheet or in a pyrex dish with the skin facing the dish and cook for 40-60 minutes until soft.

3. Meanwhile drain tofu of all water and slice into extremely small pieces (or if you want larger chunks don’t cut down into fine cubes).

photo(13)4. Spray pan with non-stick cooking spray and toss in tofu (you can use 1 tbsp oil if you want it more crisp/fried like). Cook until light brown on sides.

5. Remove tofu from pan and toss in chopped red onion (you don’t have to add all of the red onion, I just added as much as I wanted there to be in the dish).

6. Cook for a minute or two, then add in chopped garlic (stir continuously, so it does not burn).

7. After a minute has gone by, add in the carrots and bean sprouts. You may need to spray the pan again with the non-cook PAM or add in some water, so the pan doesn’t burn.

photo8. Toss in the tofu to re-heat and mix with all the vegetables.

9. Move mixture to the side of the pan and add in the liquid egg whites. Wait until the liquid starts to solidify before moving around to turn into scrambled eggs.

10. Then mix all the ingredients together and then remove pan from flame to place on a burner for the meantime.

11. In a small saucepan or pot, add in the vinegar, soy sauce, brown sugar, PB2, juice of one lime, and a clove of garlic.

12. Heat on medium and stir until the brown sugar and PB2 completely dissolves.

13. Place vegetable/tofu mixture back on a flame to heat back up then pour the cooked sauce into the mixture. Stir until everything is thoroughly coated.

14. By this time the spaghetti squash should be done cooking, so remove from oven and let cool. Once the squash is cool you can use a fork to pull the “noodles” from the squash. Once you have the amount you want, throw the “noodles” into the vegetable mixture and stir well.

photo(2)15. Pour however much you want into a bowl and top with a handful of crushed peanuts and around 6-7 cilantro leaves. Then enjoy!

Seriously this is one of the best meals I’ve made for myself. I have a love for all types of Asian food, so when I realized I could utilize spaghetti squash as noodles in pad thai my world completely changed. The richness of the peanut sauce meshes well with the freshness of the cooked vegetables. You can’t even tell that the noodles are spaghetti squash. I think it is the sauce that really ties it all together. I even had so much that I have had leftovers for two days. Also I didn’t use all my noodles, so I made spaghetti squash mac n cheese, which I will obviously have to share with ya’ll another day.

photo(3)I think another thing that I like so much about this dish is all the wonderful colors in it. The cilantro brings a nice pop of green to the dish while it has a lot of warm colors in it such as the red from the onion, the orange from the carrots, and the yellow from the squash. Wow I sound like an art freak to be honest. What can I say I have transitioned from oils and pastels to food. Okay, no I am still doing art because I love it, but now I just have another medium to work with: fresh food. This dish is definitely a hit. Even the non-vegetable eaters would probably love this. The true test is to use it on a guy (not saying that all guys don’t eat vegetables, just most)!

I hope everyone enjoys the rest of their Thursday evening. Mine will be spent curled up in bed reading a book. I just finished Night Circus and it was fantastic!

Have you ever had spaghetti squash?
What have you done with it?

WIAW (Life Without Plastic Bags)

Hey ya’ll! It is that time of the week again when bloggers around the world share what they are eating. It is one of my favorite link-ups, known as What I ate Wednesday. I bet there are other goods ones out there, but I just love to see what everyone is eating to get inspiration for recipes and blog posts. Thanks to Jenn for hosting this fantastic day! Seriously pure genius for coming up with it!

photo(3)Since school is pretty much over for me, I ended up going to my mom’s to study for finals and what not. Well I decided that I was going to cook up a storm in the house and make a ton of new recipes to share with ya’ll. So I drove over to the local HEB in my neighborhood to load up on groceries, but little did I know that there are NO more plastic bags (disclaimer: Yes, I actually knew, but I forget because this is sort of ridiculous). I’m all for helping the environment, but they should have plastic bags on hand just in case people forget. I have a million reusable bags, so I’m not going to spend money to buy another one just so I can carry my groceries like a normal person. Nope, I totally put everything back into my cart and rocked the no bag look. I got some stares.

photo(6)I was not going to let the plastic bag problem stop me. Although once I got to my house, I got reusable bags to help get everything out of the car. Now to the yummy part of the story. For breakfast I had chocolate covered strawberry cheesecake oats. Umm yes. I have an obsession with cheesecake oats (fat free cottage cheese + oatmeal). It seriously makes the oatmeal have a creamier and richer flavor to it.

photo(5)Close up, in yo face. You can’t go wrong with chocolate chips and strawberries. I have so many oatmeal recipes to share with ya’ll, it is ridiculous. I need to step up my oatmeal sharing game. Heck, I have so much to share with ya’ll. Maybe I’ll start posting two-a-day. That is a lot of effort for me, so probably not. Senioritis problems. You would think that maybe my second senior year I wouldn’t be so lazy, but no I think I’ve just gotten lazier as time goes on. At least graduate school will whip me into shape.

photo(4)So my family calls me snacky or snack monster, which is actually pretty nice I think since it could definitely be a lot worse. Hello, my name is Lindsay and I am addicted to snacks. I actually have an awesome post planned for the near future about healthy snacking. Since I love to snack, I decided that I need to come up with more healthy choices for snacks. Therefore apple nachos have come into the picture. You can do a ton of varieties with these bad boys. I decided to go the chocolate and caramel route, but you could definitely do granola, chocolate chips, etc. Pretty much anything goes good with these bad boys.

photo(2)Yes, I am one of those weird people that love salads. I could eat a salad for lunch and dinner if I could. The key to having a good salad is building it up with tons of healthy toppings. This is my healthy version of a Waldorf salad. It has grapes, apples, walnuts, celery, and chicken in it. Such a winning combination. Usually there is a type of gross cheese in it (yes, there are some gross cheeses out there), so I went sans cheese on this one.

photo(1)Three cheers for another healthy snack. I saw this on Pinterest a while ago, but it was for camping. Who needs to go camping to make a delicious treat like this? Not me. I made my version of a banana s’mores with marshmallows and chocolate chips. It was delicious. I will share how to actually make this when I post about healthy snacks, but just looking at it is making me drool and want another one. Like the apple nachos, you can do tons of combinations with this one.

photoYou know just staring at this picture you want the recipe. Too bad you are going to have to wait a few days. I’m trying this whole thing were I am organized about my blog posts, and so far it is going pretty well. It just means that I won’t be posting up this recipe yet. However it is spaghetti squash pad Thai with tofu. Yes, it is as amazing as it looks. I’m seriously getting excited just looking at it because it is a beautiful dish. Plus I remembered I have leftovers in the fridge! Go me.

photo(7)MWAHAHA the snack monster has arrived. This is a not-so healthy, but not-so fattening snack. I have a passion for snowcones. Maybe a deep love too. I love going around to try all the snowcone stands in Austin. I have discovered a few more to try out and review, but this is from one of my favorite stands: Casey’s New Orleans Snowcones. You know I have to represent the city I was born in, so I’m a loyal customer. Plus these are just so darn good. This one is a strawberry cheesecake snowcone. The flavors are so rich in it and the ice is soft. I really despise when there is hard ice that doesn’t soak up the flavor. Lame.

I hope everyone is having a fantastic Wednesday! I’m currently studying for my Medical Nutrition Therapy final and make up exam. Yes, I have two exams tomorrow in the time period for one final. I think I can pretty much rock it. Although my make-up exam is on enteral and parenteral feedings + some other lovely junk about the GI system, so it is not the most pleasant topic. Hope ya’lls day is less gross than mine!

Vietnamese in Austin

Hey ya’ll! Sorry I’ve been gone, but I’ve been dead. I’m not even kidding. When I landed back in Austin from my time at Ultra in Miami, my feet were completely swollen. Turns out I had edemas in both of my feet with two plus pitting, my arthritis was in my knee and finger, I had a virus, and many other scary complications. Yeah my life sucked for a week. Now that I’m back, I’m going to share a delicious find in Austin for you. I love Vietnamese food, so when my mom suggested this place one night I decided sure why not?

lPhonatic. It is located in a shopping strip next to a walmart. I know, I was sort of skeptical at first because of the location plus I’m extremely loyal to my favorite Vietnamese place in Austin: Tam’s Deli. However I was starving and I thought it would be much more tastier than a salad from Which Wich. We decided to go in and try it out.

IMG_3453This place is really interesting. The menus are all on these electronic screens that are lined up against the wall before the cash register. There are even some delicious looking pictures on each menu. The first two menus consist of appetizers and pho bowls. The third menu has noodles and the last menu contains kids meals, drinks, and desserts. Once you finally figure out what you want, you go to the cash register, order, and they give you a number to take to your table. Your food probably won’t all come out at once if you ordered appetizers. Sometimes the appetizers even come after the entrees. Crazy, but who cares.

photo(1)Hello to the greatest thing to exist on the planet earth. This is now one of my favorite items. They are bahn mi sliders. It uses a soft bun, that usually is served with roasted duck in traditional Chinese restaurants, and it is topped with grilled pork. There is daikon, carrots, cilantro, and this delicious mayonaisse sauce that covers the bottom of the bun. Three come on a plate, so it is the perfect appetizer to share or the perfect meal to have for yourself. I am constantly craving these bad boys. I am so glad that my mom lives down the street from this place.

photo(4)This is the crispy tofu appetizer. My brother ordered this as his meal the last time we went, which I thought was a good idea. It definitely wasn’t enough to sustain you though. It was freaking delicious. The tofu was lightly fried and cut into the perfect size squares. Then it was seasoned with a little spice, but not so overwhelming that your mouth was constantly on fire. I would order this as an appetizer again for sure.

photo(2)One thing they do well at Phonatic is cook pork. The pork there is so juicy, tender, and well seasoned. I have not had a bad piece ever. I decided to get an order of pork spring rolls. This was such a good decision. They were really simple, but because the pork was cooked so well they ended up being extremely flavorful. I would definitely order these again. The peanut sauce was perfect with them too.

photo(3)Obviously since the place is called Phonatic, they are known for their pho. My brother ended up getting a simple pho with just pork and noodles in it. He then topped it with jalapenos, bean sprouts, and cilantro (the place has a bar with various toppings and condiments you can add to your food). I have to say it was really delicious. The soup was hot and flavorful from soaking up the pork and other spices.

photo(5)However I think I win with best pho. I got the shrimp and pork dumpling pho, which was such a good idea. I was really craving a warm soup with good dumplings. The dumplings were soft and fresh while the soup was the perfect temperature. There was also Chinese broccoli in the soup, which I’m a big fan of. I would definitely order this soup again. I actually wish I had it right now.

I hope you enjoyed this review. I definitely recommend that you check it out if you are in Austin. You won’t be disappointed.